As many long time readers will know, I am not a fan of either the Scottish National Party or indeed, of nationalism altogether. But I had sympathy reading Nicola Sturgeon’s words about a Brexit leading to a second Indy ref yesterday.
“Bluntly, I believe the groundswell of anger among ordinary people in Scotland in these circumstances could produce a clamour for another independence referendum which may well be unstoppable.”
Usually, I would be chastising the SNP leader for yet another round of her inimitable hyperbole at this point. But taking a leaf out of Sturgeon’s book and being blunt myself, if Scotland votes overwhelmingly to stay in the EU while England does the reverse, a case could very legitimately be made for Scotland having been shafted by England and thus for another independence referendum to be demanded. I think it is the only set of circumstances that I can think of where this would apply, but it would definitely not be fair enough if Scotland was forced to leave the European Union against its will with no recourse.
As it happens, I don’t think it will ever come to this as I think we’ll all vote to stay in. But that’s not the point – we should all understand the principles involved before we plunge into this whole European referendum debate in earnest.
I’m also with her on the “double majority” idea – where there needs to be a majority in each nation in order for the UK as a whole to leave – and would go one further and say that if the Westminster government doesn’t accept these terms, the SNP would be on solid grounds to call another independence referendum without London’s permission. If nations within the Union can be forced out of a huge chunk of their international treaties after having actually voted against such a thing, then the whole concept of the Union has become meaningless anyhow.
It’s painful for me to agree with Nicola Sturgeon on anything – but in this case, she’s right.
I’m also with her on the “double majority” idea – where there needs to be a majority in each nation in order for the UK as a whole to leave
Why? Should there also have to be a majority in each of Manchester, Birmingham and London? What about Cornwall, Kent or Northumberland?
Anyway, actually, I sort of don’t mind because by Sturgeon’s logic (which seems to be ‘for a referendum to count, each individual geographical part gets a veto’) then for Scotland to leave the UK there would have to be a majority in favour of independence in every constituency, including Edinburgh and the borders. Good luck with that.
Steve Davenport says
I’d agree Sturgeon could not reasonably be denied a 2nd referendum in the event of a No vote on the EU Referendum and who could blame Scotland in that scenario from voting for independence? Like yourself I don’t think it will come to that but with Cameron at the helm anything is possible.